eli5: why do people use PINs for smartphones but passwords for their computer?


i don’t understand this, they are both equally important, so why use a less secure unlock on one?

In: 5

Generally due to convenience; you can set a password on both Android and IOS though. My work phone enforces a password.

It’s a heritage thing. While computers have had keyboards since forever, phones had numbered buttons until quite recently, where typing a long password was majorly inconvenient. While phones became more like computers, both in design and importance, the PIN unlock has remained the default method. Password, fingerprint, facial recognition and others have since been added.

Because with a PIN you only have three attempts to get it right. With a password you usually have unlimited attempts.

I would say it’s probably down to convenience.. how many people are in such a rush sometimes that it’s far easier to type a 4 number pin, trace a pattern, or simply look at your phone (all possible one handed), rather than trying to type in a password that possibly needs two hands to be as fast. People want their phones unlocked *now* not in 15 seconds time.

Also if you consider that prior to smart phones, mobiles only had number buttons.. yes you could type words but only if you pressed the number key 1 – 3 or 4 times per letter.. that could have led to a very lengthy password on a Nokia if lettered passwords were possible.